Forensic Toxicology

, Volume 36, Issue 2, pp 534–536 | Cite as

Cryptomarket drug acquisition leading to furanyl fentanyl overdose

  • Matthew K. Griswold
  • Brittany P. Chapman
  • Alex J. Krotulski
  • Melissa Friscia
  • Edward W. Boyer
  • Barry K. Logan
  • Kavita M. BabuEmail author
Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor

Fentanyl and its analogs are used to produce extremely potent drugs that are fueling striking increases in US overdose deaths. Surveillance for these fentanyl analogs is challenging due to limitations of currently available drug testing; additionally, users are frequently unaware of the individual opioids to which they are exposed in overdose [1]. Online cryptomarkets facilitate the purchase of high-potency opioids by individuals who are seeking to conceal their drug purchases from law enforcement; new strategies to obscure these transactions allow individuals to obtain home delivery of illicit opioids via the United States Postal Service.

A previously healthy 23-year-old man was found unresponsive in bed. First responders observed symptoms consistent with opioid toxicity; they immediately administered supplemental oxygen and 4 mg of intramuscular (IM) naloxone. Following naloxone administration, the patient awoke, becoming tremulous and tachycardic (180beats/min). He...


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no financial or other relationships that could lead to a conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

Informed consent was obtained from the patient involved in this study, subject to proviso that every item related to his privacy will be anonymous.


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Copyright information

© Japanese Association of Forensic Toxicology and Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew K. Griswold
    • 1
    • 2
  • Brittany P. Chapman
    • 1
  • Alex J. Krotulski
    • 3
  • Melissa Friscia
    • 3
  • Edward W. Boyer
    • 4
  • Barry K. Logan
    • 3
  • Kavita M. Babu
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Division of Medical Toxicology, Department of Emergency MedicineUniversity of Massachusetts Medical SchoolWorcesterUSA
  2. 2.Division of Medical Toxicology, Department of Emergency MedicineHartford HospitalHartfordUSA
  3. 3.Center for Forensic Science Research and EducationFredric Rieders Family FoundationWillow GroveUSA
  4. 4.Division of Medical Toxicology, Department of Emergency Medicine, Brigham and Women’s HospitalHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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